tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 7, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
"hardball." that's now. >> master and commander. let's play "hardball." welcome to a night of political combat on an historic warship. for the first time in the final two months of the campaign, donald trump and hillary clinton will both take seats on the same spot to face the most central question of this campaign. who should serve as the next u.s. commander in chief? i'm chris matthews now on the night deck of the aircraft carrier "intrepid," sea, air and space museum in new york. we saw battles in okinawa and lady gullch plays host to the two major candidates, hillary clinton and donald trump. the two will be questioned
before a live audience. hillary clinton will go first. donald trump won the coin toss choosing to go second and being able to counter punch what his opponent has said. the moderator is matt lauer. it comes as a new online poll by nbc news finds that trump leads clinton by 19 percentage points among active and former members of the u.s. military. 55% to 36%. that's among military veterans and currently serving officers and men and women, of course. in a speech today in philadelphia, trump proposed a massive build-up of the military while at the same time calling hillary clinton trigger happy. >> unlike my opponent, my foreign policy will emphasize diplomacy, not destruction. sometimes, it seemed like there was not a country in the middle east that hillary clinton didn't
want to invade, intervene in or topple. she is trigger happy and very unstable whether we like it or not. that's what's going on. she talks about her experience, but hillary clinton's only foreign policy experience ended up in absolute failure. everywhere she got involved, things got worse. >> well, trump's charges appear to mimic the same attacks on clinton, the ones leveled on trump. trump has only one way of responding to legitimate criticism of his own vulnerabilities. i know you are, but what am i? so what will the evening tell us tonight about who is better prepared to be commander in chief of our country? joining me now, chuck todd, andrea mitchell, and eugene robinson, political analyst and columnist with the "washington post." let me start with chuck and work
our way across. it seems to me today, trump is up to something which i think he started his campaign with. by challenging the iraq war. challenging our involvement in libya. saying, i'll tired of all this nation building, regime change. cut it out. will that work? >> look, i think this is her biggest challenge. the whole campaign, the new team has been trying to simplify the message for trump. change versus more of the same. and apply that prism to everything. in this case, the national security, he is saying, he's changed and she is, if you didn't like the iraq war, bush and obama, middle east. she's part of that same establishment that you haven't been happy with the whole time. i think that's her chief challenge. >> let's go one time. what is trump up to tonight?
he's accused hillary of the way things are, accused her of being more hawkish than she would like to be? more of a neo con? >> and also to question her judgment on the e-mails, on the other aspects of national security. to bring up those other issues and say that she is the one just as he has been mimicking her attacks. >> do you think bringing up e-mails on an aircraft carrier makes any sense? it just sounds a little small. >> yeah. >> okay. he may do it but it may not work here. this is about courage under fire and winning the big wars and american history. >> i think what could work here -- >> he brought it up today in his speech in philadelphia. >> what could work is an attack -- >> at the union league? where we won the civil war? >> they're still fighting it. >> the attack on libya policy, for example.
if he can mount that sort of sophisticated attack, i'm not sure, to tell you the truth. and he has another problem. he wants to portray himself as more dovish and more restrained. it is at the same time. >> we put out this poll and found, a very dangerous question. 34% of current and form he members of the united states military say they trust hillary. 33% trust trump. this is a dead heat. >> >> this is a republican leaning -- this is more of a negative number for trump. if you see the overall number, trump led by 19 points so there is a group of vote here's are picking trump over clinton. >> is this a question of dove versus hawk? >> this is the temperament
issue. this is where i think trump has an easier task than clinton. the low bar of can dough the job. i don't know if he can mean it. he is very basic, a very basic problem. the idea that he is up to the job with many voters. she has a more complicated challenge. everybody knows, she's got the resume for the job. the question is, does she have a new idea on how to fix it? >> she is talking about in her previous speech yesterday was that he is too reckless and that he doesn't know anything. when she said, i will not put ground troops on the ground in syria, not on my watchful then when he talked about having a free space for isis in syria. she said, look at the map, donald. she is so disparaging of him. that's what you'll hear. she has one big disadvantage.
she goes first. he can come second. >> he's even talked about using nuclear weapons. he's very loose in his talk about nooks. he said he doesn't know why they haven't been used already. after all his talk, the only thing that is clear is he has no clue about what he is talking about. >> one thing i think they overstepped with this super pac backing her. it said they're quoting trump in one regard saying, i sort of like war in certain ways. and that includes nuclear war. that was a totally different occasion. they spliced it together. an old political cheap trick. i'm surprised. we'll talk about with it kellyanne. i'm surprised the trump campaign
hasn't come back and said that's a cheap shot. >> they'll probably get around to that. >> i don't know why it is taking so long. >> there are legitimate questions about trump's temperament and necessary charge of the nuclear weapons. >> but why say something he didn't say? >> i get you. it is the kind of distortion that we call out in politics. there is one danger that trump has in going last. it is an advantage, certainly. if he makes a big blunder. if there is something he really doesn't know, and we know that he doesn't know a lot of the stuff. he gets asked a question and he completely mixes up, shia and sunni. that's what people will remember. >> let's talk about the usual -- we're all familiar with the cold war, right? it was about who is the strongest? it is like, who is more macho? tonight it doesn't seem to be that. at the same time, they're both trying on say, don't worry.
i'm the restraining force. i'm not the one nation building. at the same time, they want to be seen as stronger but also more restraint and they want to make the other side look, not stronger but more dangerous. how do they fine tune this? >> what did he today was to talk about a military budget that was out of sight. we haven't seen anything like that since ronald reagan. he kept quoting the heritage foundation. >> where did he get money? >> he never explained it. they want to get rid of the sequester but not saying what part of the defense you take it out of. he is talking about a military build-up that would be extraordinary. >> by the way, this trump speech today, it was totally different than everything he said during the primaries. look. one thing you can say is this new team has put some discipline on him that i don't think they thought was possible.
he looked like a tennis match. he is getting faster at reading off a teleprompter. he didn't own the speech. there are so many ways he's contradicted what he said. this is why tonight, number one, he has to view it as a very important opportunity. he won't have the teleprompter out there. there are a the love viewers who will be grading him on a curve. that's an advantage to him. by the way, this speech today, none of it was his. >> okay. let's give everybody a score card. is this a battle, who will be the strongest commander in dmeef the smarter commander in chief? what is it? do they grew he what bits? >> no. >> i think hillary clinton will think a successful night is, his temperament game issue.
>> trump will believe this is a good night, how about that, trump seemed like he can do the job. he really didn't. that's the score card. >> who do you trust? >> who do you trust? who is the temperament? she is answered the 3:00 phone call question. i think she has to prove -- >> you mean in the room when they killed osama bin laden. >> yeah. the advertisement from eight years ago. she proved her commander in chief in terms of being tough as a gender issue. that's no longer on the table. now she has to prove that she has the judgment and she is not willy-nilly getting into regime change, pulling mubarak out, getting into libya. >> i would say she has less to gain and less to lose than trump does. trump could gain a lot. he could lose a lot. it makes it a referendum on
trump. that scheme attic has been good for hillary clinton. >> the dangerous thing about the guy in this case who is behind in the polling. the other one gets to take hail mary shots. will he accept that he can catch up a little but be careful. i think thas the question. chuck todd said he is being careful. coming up, we'll hear from both the trump and the clinton campaigns. tonight, the pre game for the people fighting. they're all coming here. when we come back, kellyanne conway and his top adviser will be sitting right here with me with a preview of what they want their guy to do tonight and maybe he is ready to do it. this is "hardball" live at the "intrepid" aircraft carrier. safety doesn't come in a box. it's not a banner that goes on a wall.
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fmale teacher: and then name thelargest planet?t? male teacher: someone we haven't heard from. female teacher:anyone else? through internet essentials, comcast is on track to connect 3 million people in need to low cost, high speed internet at home, helping to make sure that every hand in the classroom goes up. male teacher: okay, veronica. amphibian. male teacher: excellent. welcome to a brighter future. welcome to it all. comcast. in a trump administration, our actions in the middle east will be tempered by realism. the current strategy of toppling regimes with no plan for what to do the day after only produces power vacuum that's are filled
simply by terrorists. unlike my possibly, my foreign policy will emphasize diplomacy, not destruction. >> welcome back to "hardball." from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier, the commander in chief forum right here. that was donald trump today laying out his vision of war on terror and contrasting it with hillary clinton, of course. there's maketure of trump coming here. joining me, kellyanne conway. thank you for joining me. a big night here. if you, when i first heard donald trump running for president on the issue of foreign policy, i heard a very clear condemn nation of the pattern in which we go into countries like iraq, we've toppled the government, driven the military into isis and then
we went into gadhafi land. chased him into a sewer pipe. no idea what to do next. then we started going for syria and we slowed down at that point. kellyanne? if your candidate against that pattern? >> yes, he is. he administration it very clear that hillary clinton own that's pattern. a lot of this happened on her watchful libya, syria, a failure. benghazi. even more importantly, that hillary clinton's tenure as secretary of state is back in the news. whether it is the pay for may, the concierge at the state department, letting people give to the clinton global initiative known as a foundation, foreign donations. what is being scrutinized now. she says i'm experienced. president obama means she is qualified. if this is what experience and qualification means, i think many americans are preferring the strenlts. he is winning by 20 points. there's a reason for that. >> most people care about their kids having to fight wars. we're going to spend a lot of
time tonight and over the week with people coming over. all kinds of mental and emotional problems. >> i have a son, one of my sons has deployed three times. >> you know all about it. >> and they don't want us fighting wars. they will fight war we tell them to fight. so we'd better pick the right fights. >> and we have to decide. we have to stop being in these perpetual wars. a report came out in the last 24 hours that showed the conflict has cost the united states of america just over $6 trillion, chris. we have to get ourselves out of this. we have to decide if we are going to go to war, we have to have very clear objectives for how we're going to deal with the day after. we have done a great job getting rid of these leaders. gadhafi is probably the most dramatic. and to me we end up with nothing but a big mess. >> what have we learned that donald trump can put to use?
>> i think when we talk about, donald trump talked about today, defeating isis, and looking for the right kind of advice coming in from the department of defense. the general officer corps. that's the smart decision we need unlike what we have experienced. >> let's talk politics. this is politics. the pro clinton super pac group called priorities usa put out a new
ad attack trump for his statements on war and nuclear weapons. >> i'm really good at war. i love war in a certain way. including with nukes, yes. >> i know more about it than the generals. that is misleading there. his mention of nukes had nothing to do with the statement before.
it was from a completely different event. he was
answering at that point, a question about japan wanting to acquire nuclear weapons of let's watch the part of that it the clinton people interesting clinton pac people grabbed from. that quote and attached to a statement about war. >> so north korea has nukes. japan has a big problem with it. maybe they would be better off if they defended themselves. including with nukes, yes, including with nukes. >> that was tied together to the earlier statement about i like certain things about war. i would call that a lie. what do you make of it? >> thank you for calling them out. i was on your show yesterday. you called out the other distortion and lie when he made a comment about china and they made it sound like woman. i think voters see right through this. what do you think voters expect ask deserve? a politics speech like the one donald trump delivered today in philadelphia, and a town hall
sponsored tonight or slice and dice and cherry picked? i have my faith in voters that they know that is complete desperation. donald trump is rising in the polls. he went to mexico last week. he was in louisiana, in detroit, he's looking presidential. after the democratic convention, they said she's not presidential. we've responded. >> here's more today. the trumpster talking about his man to counter isis. i want general flynn to answer this. >> immediately after taking office, i will ask my generals to present to me a plan within 30 days to defeat and destroy isis. this will require military warfare but also cyber warfare, financial warfare and ideological warfare. >> will the military the, i think they like the on give you option one, two, and three. fumd to the joint chiefs, a month from now i want to plan to
kill these guys. we'll take care of the diplomatic part later. i want to beat them up on the battlefield box they come back with a plan to do it? >> i think the four parts that he said, cyber, financial, military, four great strategic areas. >> why haven't they done it yet? >> the ideological come possibly, the president of the united states, hillary clinton. they won't even call the enemy what it is. if you don't clearly define the let the that you're up against -- >> it is isis. >> it is radical islamism. they have attacked in 22 to 25 countries. >> in battle, what difference does it call? the nazis or the germans? what difference is it. >>? just like we called the nazis out. for 40 years we beat them ideologically more than on the battlefield. we have to be able to do that. this is a big xoenlt of it. from the the military piece of this, this is where donald trump
said, in 30 days i want a man that shows -- >> you 19 generals would have a month-long planning. >> not a month-long plan. >> 30 days. first you have to call them the islam fascism? >> very important. the other part of this is that we have to be able to demonstrate that we can beat these guys. we know we can. >> by the way, if it is not a big deal, why doesn't hillary just say it? she called them our determined enemies in the connection speech. that's crazy. >> churchill mispronounced their names. he called them nazis. thank you. this up next, we're going to hear from the clinton side about what to expect from secretary clinton tonight. commander in chief forum set to begin at the top of the hour. there we are on the west side of
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commander commander in chief. >> tonight's commander in chief forum which is coming up. that was secretary clinton last night before the american legion making the case for why she is best equipped to be commander in chief. today, donald trump questioned her qualifications. >> she can't even remember whether she has trained in the use of classified information. and she said she didn't know the letter ceans confidential or at least classified. if she can't remember such crucial events, and information, honestly, she's totally unfit to be our commander in chief. totally unfit. >> tonight secretary clinton will get a chance to take her policy proposals to the american veterans who have fought for this country. where does the potential first female commander in chief stand on the war and national security? how will she address lengthy
wait times at v.a. hospitals which are out there now? retired brigadier general laurie sutton. general, i want to ask you about this question of hillary clinton. now everybody is trying to figure out hillary clinton. that's what we did for the last 20 years is figure out any of these politicians. nm cases, we would say the first woman president of the united states. andrea mitchell i've respected dramatically. i have watched her. she knows her. and she said she doesn't to have prove any more that because i'm a woman, i'll be tough. she said she's past that. whatever she had to prove in material of toughness. do you buy that? does being the first woman president put on you a burden wouldn't be put on another president to say you're as tough as the guys? >> any pioneering load, in this
case, a woman. with hillary, she's been dedicated to service her entire career. her life of service reflects that. her relationships around the world reflects. that she's steady, prepared from day one. >> let me to go senator reid. you're a colleague of hers for all those years. where would you put her in terms of dove versus hawk right now? is she more hawkish than the president? >> i think she is the foreign policy realist. i think she understands the use of diplomacy. but necessarily butt rested by force. she's someone who i've worked closely and recall fondly traveling to afghanistan in 2003 and seeing herith troops, inspiring them. also being inspired by them. so she is someone who is superbly prepared. great interest in knowledge, personal knowledge of world leaders, world issues. she is someone who will be an
extraordinary first female president of the united states. >> when you see this tape, i think you will be struck by it. i talked about the history of involvement of assassination of leaders, iran, guatemala and all these guys. we have a history of changing leaders we dome like and some assassinations. during a town hall in march. i asked secretary clinton about america's involvement. and here's what she said. >> if somebody could have assassinated hitler before he took over germany works that have been a good thing or not? you cannot paint with a broad brush. individual situations and most of the wungs you named are ones that i think in retrospect did not have a very defensible kind of calculation behind them. but i think it is a mistake to say, you can't ever prevent war. you can't ever save people.
>> what do you make of that? >> i think she is a steady presence. >> about assassinations and not willing to rule them out completely. >> precisely. she is someone who takes a measured approach. she knows that there are some actions, like when she recommended to president obama that it was time to take chance and go after obama. >> bin laden. >> right. talk on folks like secretary bob gates who was secretary of defense who talked about in his biography, how he was not really -- because of all the things he heard about hillary. he was not sure he would like her. he talked about how much respect he has for her. how well they worked together. how knowledgeable she is and how her back ground of service has prepared her for this moment in history. >> voters deal in broad strokes. they don't get to know candidates personally. they have to decide where they
think they're going wrong. most are correcting the previous president. w wasn't smart enough so we bring in obama. obama wasn't tough enough. i think that's why hillary is strong on this. where do you seer? will she learn from obama? be a little different from him or not? or be the same as him? >> i think she has the ability to bring together extraordinary experience. few people have ever spent eight years in the white house in a point as she did, watching everything happening. in fact, she is the only one i can think in history. she served in the armed services committee. i think you're right. they're looking for someone who had face a difficult world with experience, realistic tough minded but very conscious of our role in the world. very conscious that diplomacy should be our leading edge.
not our following edge. and someone who i think will make an attempt to bring together the entire country. not separate them. not build walls. but unite people. and i think that's a powerful force bringing people. again, i can't think of any person who is as well prepared to be president of the united states than hillary clinton h. >> i think this country has been educated in the last 16 years by these wars in afghanistan which have become open ended. with iraq that went off and joined isis. an unintended consequence. the american people had nothing to do with that decision. going on libya, getting involved in that civil war without any man of what would come afterwards. getting involved in syria where we were stuck in the sand. the american people don't want more. thank you for coming on. thank you, general. we hope to see you a lot.
you are a trail blazer yourself, i'm sure. >> i'm good. time lucky estrogen on earth, thank you so much. >> up next, the fight against isis and the fight in the middle east will be a big challenge for whoever gets to be the next commander in chief. when we come back, richard engel will tell us what the big story is, what the big worry is for the next president as we await the start of the nbc news. the commander in chief forum coming up. i had that dream again -- that i was on the icelandic game show. and everyone knows me for discounts, like safe driver and paperless billing. but nobody knows the box behind the discounts. oh, it's like my father always told me -- "put that down. that's expensive." of course i save people an average of nearly $600, but who's gonna save me? [ voice breaking ] and that's when i realized... i'm allergic to wasabi. well, i feel better. it's been five minutes. talk about progress. [ chuckles ] okay.
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this election, we expect to learn how both candidates view world events. richard engel to my right -- no, he's not. he's the other guy. richard haas is president of the council on foreign relations. now let's get ready for the national anthem. >> marine combat veteran cortes. ♪ o say, can you see by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's
last gleaming? ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪
♪ o'er the land of the free ♪ ♪ and the home of the brave? ♪ >> well, that's the national anthem sung by the marine combat veteran turned actor, jay w. cortes. star of the tv series gotham. right back to where we were with richard haas. if you're president of the president of the united states. what are you worried about? >> one way to answer the question, there's a lot of things to worry about. this president will inherit the messiest world and the most difficult inbox of any president this modern times. just the sheer number of difficult times. a middle east that's unraveling. russia that is challenging ukraine and elsewhere, potential conflicts in the china sea, the
north korea that will have missiles that can reached the united states. >> really. they're ready. >> that could be one of the big crises of the next presidency. i think north korea will reach that point. >> when do we get to know that? when they test? >> we'll see the range and we'll probably have intelligence of miniaturization of warheads. one of the questions is will we have advance warning? or will we have a day when they go into the oval office and say mr. president, madam president, we believe north korea has crossed this threshold. this next commander in chief will have to decide, is that something the united states can when i have? kim jong-un who can reach the united states? or is this beyond the pale? >> whether you trust deterency defense to work. >> usually on the there on the battle front. if you had to go to sleep as
president, what would you wake up thinking in the middle of the night? >> well, as richard haass was saying, i would be concerned that russian expansionism. tens of thousands of troops very close to the ukrainian border. there's concern they could use this period well while the u.s. is focused on the tloeks move into eastern parts of eastern ukraine. obviously the situation in syria where every day there is a new atrocity and just over the last two days, these allegations of yet another chlorine gas attack on the people of aleppo. then longer term, all the failed states that have been hemorrhaging refugees across europe. how is europe going to absorb them? can europe absorb them? will we see the rise of more right wing parties which we've started to see? will we see more of that? more brexits? the collapse of the eu?
an incredibly difficult situation. >> everybody is listening to all these lists. what can a president begin on wrap up? a great american president? hillary clinton or donald trump? what can they reasonably expect to wrap up to shorten this agenda of hell we have to face in the world? >> well, one thing would be trade. he or she will probably enhear it the transpacific partnership. it has been negotiated. can you come one a bipartisan sport. if we can, it would help dramatically. >> you're for it. >> absolutely. if we can't do it, it may be a major problem. not just economically but strategically. fundamental questions about american political, the ability to function and raise major questions that american political reliability. i would look at that. venezuela, dependsing on what happens there. it could be something wrapped up. >> we could reestablish our
relations with that country. >> potentially. it might have to go through a failed state. syria, not to wrap it up. syria won't be wrapped up in your lifetime or mine. but one of the tests the entire world will have for this president, is he or she willing to do things barack obama didn't? i don't mean reckless things. maybe create a no-fly zone. something to differentiate them. to say there is a new sheriff in town. we can't wrap it up but it is a powerful signal. >> once again, a mideast peace attempt. is that something the next president will have to continue or drop? richard? >> well, i think there is a lot of effort to try to come up with a framework. there are supposed to be talks next couple days between secretary kerry and the russian counter parts to yet again close a cease fire deal. but in reality, even if they do
sign some piece of paper, it seems very unlikely that we'll see u.s., russian, syrian, iranian, hezbollah coordination in a way that also satisfies turkey and the kurds and all of the other parties in the next several months. i think richard is right. trying on ride out this cease fire and hope that it works and build on it in the next administration is probably a failed policy. i think a different approach is one -- >> gentlemen, i expect in the next several months as we go into the new presidency, there will be people getting toward test us and test us even further, regardless of who we pick as our next president. thank you. when we return, the issues that most concern our veterans. montel williams will be with us with the challenges facing men and women when they get home. that's the big part.
we will get to that. we are moving toward the commander in chief forum. you can see it on the screen at the top of the hour on the "intrepid." in fact on the night deck of the "intrepid" night carrier. soon, she'll be binge-studying. now she writes mostly in emoji. soon, she'll type the best essays in the entire 8th grade. today, the only spanish words he knows are burrito and enchilada. soon, he'll take notes en espanol. get back to great with the right gear. from the place with the experts. office depot officemax. gear up for school. gear up for great.
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course. moments ago, secretary cleanse arrived on the "intrepid." at the top of the hour, matt lauer is going to moderate. the commander in chief right he msnbc. don't turn the channel. right here for that hour. we'll come back afterward, rachel will be leading the show. we'll be right back. so many things can go wrong. it's my worst nightmare. every second that power is out, my city's at risk. siemens digital grid manages and reroutes power, my city's at risk. so service can be restored within seconds. priority number one is keeping those lights on. it takes ingenuity to defeat the monsters that live in the dark. what comes to mind?aving time and money, whatever it is, aarpadvantages.com can help you save both along e way. so when you get there, you can enjoy yourself all the more. for less.
mitchell. also montel williams. hillary clinton, how is she presenting herself as the next commrnd commander in chief? >> even-tempered, reliable, experienced and grown-up is probably how. >> n trigger-happy. trying to make up for the criticism of the iraq war and that she, according to the trump people, was too eager to get involved in libya, egypt, and other regime removals. >> methodical preparedness. like that is -- it's never gonna be showy with her, but she's a grinder, and i think they believe that it's not always an asset when you need charisma, but for her, i think it's an asset. >> it's like when you put your money in an investment, the people that cover your money, not take any chances, protect
your money. >> diversify, diversify. don't put me all in the crazy funds. >> i think if she were running against somebody other than donald trump, her pitch would be different. >> let's talk about trump. what's he offering us that you hear? >> tough. he presents himself as the tough guy. his perception is that we face a large number of threats around the world and the only thing that these people understand is toughness. >> i'm going to shove back. that's how he strikes me. >> but also change, i'm different, i'm not going to go along with these old treaties, with trade deals. i'm going to shake things up, i can make deals, the deal-maker. >> yeah. >> it's almost ditto. i do think tonight his goal is to present himself as capable of the job. >> and knowing all the words. >> and showing some sophistication about it.
>> but overall, it's a toughness with, hey, putting america first. >> what do you think matt's going to try to do tonight? >> i don't want to get into his head. >> what is the goal if you're the moderator? that's not a tricky question. >> no, it's not. especially with matt, but matt is so good at this format. and the conversational aspect of this can actually trip you up if you're not careful, if you're a candidate. because he can be very effective at getting you off of your scripted talking points. i think that's matt's gift in general, because think about it. he only does a three-minute interview. he has the hardest job of interviewing anybody in our business, because he only gets about three or four minutes. so he knows the tricks. >> let's move on to the condition in which our servicemen and women come back home after they fought the good war, the bad war, whatever. montel, what would you grill these candidates on tonight?
>> you know, chris, one of the things that surprises me, when each candidate talks about their policies, or about how they're going to deal with all the crises around the world, remember the tip of their spear are the soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guard and marines that are out there fighting the battle for them. we have yet to hear from either candidate, though i've heard donald trump and i've read their online policies of what they spend to do. but one of the things i'd like to hear from them tonight, we're going to go to the house and the senate, to pass a resolution that states, we are going to fund a bill that will take care of the v.a. problems. we don't need to destroy it or privatize it, we need to fix it. and we've not done that or made a hard attempt at doing so. >> i'm looking at these numbers here, we just got to pull together. almost 700,000 service people coming back with mental
disorders. these are individual people. 600,000 with nervs system problems, plus all the other stuff. the amputees, the blindness, the deafness. you meet some of these guys, they've given it all. >> it's very sad and some of us are old enough to remember what the world looked like after the second world war. i lived in a neighborhood in new york, where some of my friends didn't have fathers, and others were missing bits and pieces. now we have it again. i think the v.a. is not fixable as a medical institution. and i think that if somebody serves this country, shows up with an honorable discharge, you say, thank you very much, and you give them a medicare card and he goes to whatever doctor he wants to, gets taken care of, and then you don't have to get an appointment to get an appointment. >> first class treatment. >> i got to disagree with that. >> just to say, in a volunteer
system, with the economy we've had for the last decade, what you're talking about is service from the smallest percentage, 2% of americans -- >> they do it all. >> and often from lower income levels. for them, this is the way to climb out and get the g.i. bill and it's just not right. >> everybody knows that we are not served and protected by the general population. we're served and protected by a very small portion of the population, that not necessarily hangs out socially with the rest. you're talking about the top 1%. what about the 2% that save us? they're isolated in many ways. >> and the colonel made a very good point. when he entered the service and when i did in 1973, we lived in a time when our congress and senate, about 80% of them had a dog in this race. they served themselves or a family member did. if you look at our congress and senate right now, less than 20% that did. and both candidates, neither one of them have a family member that did. what we've got to do is remember that we have people who are very
quickly ready to put troops on the ground, where they wouldn't even let their own children be those troops. if they're willing to send your children off to die that quickly, that means they don't care that deeply in your heart. i want to go back to the question of whether or not the v.a. is fixable. remember, some of the top technologies we have right now, as civilians, where technology is learned from the battlefield and the v.a. so the v.a. is not the problem. the leadship is the problem. >> why not just have medicare cards? >> this is an outgrowth of the second world war, the war was over, we gave them the g.i. bill, all the v.a. stuff to make sure they got taken care of. now we're in an environment where less than one-half of 1% of the american public is in uniform. there's no need to have a
parallel redundant system of medicine. >> thank you all. it's going to be an exciting night here on this aircraft carrier and it begins right now with nbc's matt lauer and the commander in chief forum. ♪ ♪ good evening, everyone, from the carrier intrepid here in new york city. just a couple of short months, americans will vote in a critical election. hillary clinton and donald trump are vying not only to become president of the united states, but one of them will become the leader of the most potent military force the world has ever seen. i'm standing in a place where i can actually see the site of the world trade center. 15 years ago this week, the worst terror attack on american soil changed the world and launched this nation into years of war. tonight's forum' a great opportunity for these nominees to talk about national s